After a very early flurry of wet snow which only lasted a few minutes the morning turned out dry and sunny so with an extra layer of clothing on I threw my wellies and a spare jacket in the van and set off. The site was simple enough to find, though the long track leading to it from the main road had so many ruts and potholes it was almost like an off-road course in itself; meeting Alan and Louise in the parking area I swapped my trainers for the wellies, grabbed the camera, and after taking a couple of shots of the general area I climbed into the back of their appropriately-named 4 x 4 Range Rover, Mud Muncher, and off we went.
After following several trails through one part of the site we took a break for a brew then tackled another area later on. The rough land made for some rough driving and I got thoroughly bounced around in the back of the Muncher; fortunately I was belted in, though trying to hold the camera steady and film through the front windscreen was quite a difficult task and at one point I was bounced so violently that my head almost hit the roof. Round the tracks and up and down slopes we went, with the Muncher getting so plastered with mud that visibility was almost nil and we had to stop so Alan and Louise could wash the windows.
Another steep slope was negotiated and across the far side of a level area was a huge, high and very steep mound of earth which Alan headed straight towards; I couldn't believe we were going up that 'mountain' and I didn't think we would do it but we went up in one go, and after stopping briefly on the top we went down the other side, followed the track through more trees and bushes, tackled yet another slope then finally arrived back at the parking area. Unfortunately the rough terrain had aggravated an already-present mechanical fault underneath the Muncher which meant that had we continued we risked getting stuck in the mud somewhere, so the decision was made to quit before any damage was caused, the Mud Muncher was washed off and loaded onto Alan's wagon, and after another brew and a cheeseburger we all set off for home.
This had been my first experience of off-roading and when I left home this morning I didn't really know what to expect, in fact I did think I may even get bored, but that certainly wasn't the case. My only disappointment was that other than my wellies I didn't get covered in mud - oddly enough, I'd been looking forward to that - but I'd been jolted, rocked, and bounced around in the back of the Mud Muncher, I'd been driven up steep slopes I didn't think it was possible to drive up, and I'd had a blast. I'd been unable to spend Mother's Day with my son as he was working but the off-roading had more than made up for it - I'd had the best fun I've had in ages, and having now been once I definitely want to go again if and when the opportunity arises.